Biology for Engineers:
Cellular and Systems NeurophysiologyCellular and Systems Neurophysiology
BiS 521, Fall 2009
042 350 4326, firstname.lastname@example.org
Textbook: Bear, Connors, and Paradiso, “Neuroscience:, , ,
Exploring the Brain” Third Edition
What is Neurophysiology?
• Physiology is the study of biological
function at levels from cells tofunction at levels from cells to
• Other fields in neuroscience:Other fields in neuroscience:
– Molecular Neuroscience
Developmental Neuroscience– Developmental Neuroscience
Cognitive Neuroscience / Neuropsychology– Cognitive Neuroscience / Neuropsychology
Contents of this CourseContents of this Course
1 Electrical properties of1. Electrical properties of
2. Synaptic function
3 Systems (networks) of neurons3. Systems (networks) of neurons,
principles of their organization
Contents of Course
• The course contents will partially overlap• The course contents will partially overlap
with the Introduction to Neurobiology
course taught in the Biology Departmentcourse taught in the Biology Department
• The course will not spend much time on
anatomy or on different regions of theanatomy or on different regions of the
– Different neurons and brain regions haveg
different functions primarily because they
possess different information, not because
they function according to different principlesthey function according to different principles
– This course will focus on the visual system,
which is the most studied system.which is the most studied system.
• The organization and flow of information
will be emphasized, rather than just
Contents of Course
• Bear, Connors, and Paradiso, 3rd editionBear, Connors, and Paradiso, 3rd edition
– Part 1. Foundations
• Most of this section will be covered, especially chapters 3-5.
– Part 2 Sensory and Motor SystemsPart 2. Sensory and Motor Systems
• The visual system (chapters 9 and 10) will be covered in greater
detail than in the textbook. The motor system will also be covered
(chapters 13 and 14). Other systems (chapters) will be covered in
less detail or neglected completelyless detail or neglected completely.
– Part 3. The Brain and Behavior
• This section will not be covered.
– Part 4 The Changing Brain– Part 4. The Changing Brain
• This section will be covered, especially chapters 23 and 25 on
learning and neural plasticity
• About 10% of lecture material will not come from theAbout 10% of lecture material will not come from the
• I chose to have 3 exams, so that each one would be
smaller and to avoid conflict with exams in othersmaller, and to avoid conflict with exams in other
classes. Would you prefer 2 exams?
• Students must have prior• Students must have prior
knowledge of cellular and
• No prior knowledge of
neuroscience is needed
Christopher Dante Fiorillo
• Oberlin College B.S. Neuroscience 1993
• Oregon Health Sci. Univ. Ph.D. Neuroscience
• Assistant Professor Bio Brain Engin K.A.I.S.T., South Korea 2009-present
• Research Associate W. T. Newsome Stanford Univ, CA 2004-2008
• Research Associate Wolfram Schultz Cambridge Univ, England 2002-2003
• Postdoctoral Fellow Wolfram Schultz Univ Fribourg, Switzerland 2000-2001
• Graduate Student John T. Williams Oregon Health Sci Univ
P t R h T i
1. Electrophysiological recordings of dopamine neurons in rat brain
Past Research Topics:
2. Electrophysiological recordings of dopamine neurons in behaving
3 One theoretical paper describing how I think the brain works
• Fiorillo CD. The Neural Basis of Temporal Prediction and the Role of Dopamine In Attention and Time, Nobre and Coull, eds. Oxford,
England: Oxford University Press (in press).
• Schultz W, Preuschoff K, Camerer C, Hsu M, Fiorillo CD, Tobler PN, and Bossaerts P. Explicit neural signals reflecting reward uncertainty.
Phil Trans R Soc B 363: 3801-3811 (2008).
• Fiorillo CD. Towards a general theory of neural computation based on prediction by single neurons. PLoS ONE, 3: e3298 (2008).
i ill C N W d S h l W h l i i f d di i i d i N N i 11 966• Fiorillo CD, Newsome WT, and Schultz W. The temporal precision of reward prediction in dopamine neurons. Nature Neurosci 11: 966-
• Fiorillo CD, Tobler PN, and Schultz W. Evidence that the delay-period activity of dopamine neurons corresponds to reward uncertainty
rather than backpropagating TD errors. Behavioral and Brain Functions 1: 7 (2005).
• Tobler PN Fiorillo CD and Schultz W Adaptive coding of reward value by dopamine neurons Science 307: 1642 1645 (2005)• Tobler PN, Fiorillo CD and Schultz W. Adaptive coding of reward value by dopamine neurons. Science 307: 1642 – 1645 (2005).
• Fiorillo CD The uncertain nature of dopamine. Molecular Psychiatry 9: 122 - 123 (2004).
• Fiorillo CD, Tobler PN, and Schultz W. Discrete coding of reward probability and uncertainty by dopamine neurons. Science 299: 1898-
• Paladini CA*, Fiorillo CD*, Morikawa H and Williams JT. Amphetamine blocks glutamate inhibition of midbrain dopamine neurons. Nature
Neurosci 4: 275-281 (2001). (*equal contributions)
• Fiorillo CD and Williams JT. Cholinergic inhibition of ventral midbrain dopamine neurons. J Neurosci 20: 7855-7860 (2000).
• Fiorillo CD and Williams JT Selective inhibition by adenosine of mGluR IPSPs in dopamine neurons after cocaine treatment J• Fiorillo CD and Williams JT. Selective inhibition by adenosine of mGluR IPSPs in dopamine neurons after cocaine treatment. J
Neurophysiol 83: 1307-1314 (2000).
• Fiorillo CD and Williams JT. Glutamate mediates an inhibitory postsynaptic potential in dopamine neurons. Nature 394: 78-82 (1998).
• Fiorillo CD, Williams JT, and Bonci A. D1 receptor regulation of synaptic potentials in the ventral tegmental area after chronic drug
treatment Adv Pharmacol 42: 1002-1005 (1998)treatment. Adv. Pharmacol. 42: 1002 1005 (1998).
• Fiorillo CD and Williams JT. Opioid desensitization: interactions among G-protein-coupled receptors in the locus coeruleus. J Neurosci
16: 1479-1485 (1996).
• The synaptic regulation of ventral midbrain dopamine neurons and its modulation by repeated cocaine treatment. Oregon Health Sciences
My Current Research
• Dopamine neurons and dopamine’s effects on
neural plasticityneural plasticity
• What are the rules that determine a neuron’s
inputs (both synaptic and non-synaptic)?
• I believe that the goal of each neuron is to
predict the state of a part of the world that is
closely associated with the animal’s biologicalclosely associated with the animal s biological
• I will test the hypothesis that many differentI will test the hypothesis that many different
neurons select their inputs according to the
same rules. Neurons differ from one another
b th t ti ti l t t f th ibecause the statistical structure of their
synaptic inputs differ (they develop in different
The Ultimate Goal: To
understand the brain wellunderstand the brain well
enough to be able to buildenough to be able to build